I always considered myself an extrovert because I love people. In fact, spending two years as a full time artist/writer almost made me crazy. Until I did it, I never realized exactly what that means Ė that you are alone, in a studio or in front of a computer, that you might still be in your pajamas at 7pm unless you rally to put on exercise clothes and go for a walk. And that it’s very easy for life to become all about YOU, rather than being about service. †While there are some advantages to this life- and I’m totally not judging it for other people- I realized that it wasnít completely authentic to who I am.
But is this life authentically me? Now Iím living this life surrounded by people where Iím the center of attention everywhere I go. And itís making me a wee bit batty.
Introvert Or Extrovert?
I always thought that an introvert was someone who didnít like being around people and an extrovert was someone who did. I love people, so I always considered myself an extrovert, until someone asked me how I recharged. She told me that introverts recharge alone, while extroverts recharge in the company of others.
It got me thinking. Today, for the first time, Iíve spent four hours basically alone. Given, Iím sitting on a train with hundreds of people. But Lauren is four seats back, and Jayne is six seats forward and the seat next to me is empty. I have my iPod on, playing meditation music, and Iím sitting here writing, while the people around me are sleeping or listening to music or reading their books. So for all practical purposes, I am alone, for the first time in two weeks. And I feel rejuvenated!
Some go to workshops to recharge. Some attend church. Some join support groups or gather with girlfriends for happy hour or visit family. Not me. I go hiking — not with a friend, but all by myself.
Big groups make me a little squirrely. I have a tendency to make a splash when Iím in a group. I havenít quite learned how to fade into the woodwork, so I wind up being the center of attention, and that triggers all this weird shit in me and makes me shrink inward to deflect the attention. Iím learning how to handle that better, but the truth is, as much as I put myself out there in the world with my writing, Iím still kind of shy in real life. I like my solitude. The truth is that I recharge alone. Does that make me an introvert? Iím not sure. Maybe.